When it comes to food allergies, making a diagnosis is pretty black and white. The typical allergic reaction occurs immediately after you ingest a certain food, and the symptoms—often a rash, hives, or swelling—are unmistakable.
But food sensitivities are a much sneakier sort. In many cases, symptoms don’t occur until several hours or even days after you eat a problematic food, and even then, they can be vague and difficult to link to your diet.
In the United States, food sensitivities have become an epidemic, largely fueled by the process of genetically modifying food.
Gluten, dairy, corn and soy are among the most common culprits. An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from gluten sensitivity alone, and those are the people who have figured it out! Millions more individuals experience symptoms suggestive of food sensitivities every day, and have yet to identify the cause.
Following are four signs you might have a food sensitivity, along with a brief explanation of how each symptom occurs.
Weight gain or inability to lose weight
You’ve tried every diet out there, but nothing seems to work for you. You’re constantly hungry, no matter how much you eat.
When you suffer from a food sensitivity, it causes chronic inflammation, which impairs your brain’s ability to communicate with hormones, One of these hormones is leptin, which is released after you eat so that you feel satisfied. Without the brain receiving messages from leptin, you continue to feel hungry even after a big meal.
No matter how much sleep you get, you are exhausted. You find yourself dozing off during the day and are constantly grabbing sugary and starchy snacks for energy.
When your body is sensitive to a certain food, it causes an inflammatory response in your digestive system, causing your adrenal glands to release cortisol as an anti-inflammatory. This puts extra stress on your adrenal glands and leaves you feeling fatigued.
Migraines and Headaches
You notice that your headaches tend to occur when you eat certain foods … several hours after a meal, or even when you wake up the next morning.
A headache of any kind is a sign of inflammation in your head—hence the reason you treat it with NSAIDs. It’s not surprising, then, that food sensitivities could be to blame. A recent study showed that 56% of people who had been diagnosed with migraine headaches actually had an underlying gluten sensitivity.
You’re all-over achy, but there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason. You’re too young for arthritis, but you’re not a hardcore athlete, either.
Here we go again: Food sensitivities = inflammation. Here, you’re experiencing an inflammatory response in your joints.
If any of these symptoms resonate with you, there’s a good chance food sensitivities are to blame.
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